Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Talking Shop

Still winding down and cleaning up after the Anacortes show this past weekend. It was truly another excellent weekend.

One of the little quirks to the weekend was the placement of the artists - we actually had 3 different soap booths all right next to each other in the same little area in the span of about 2 storefronts. One was kitty-cornered from me, so I could see them the entire time, and the other one was a couple of booths over from me, so I couldn't see them all weekend, but we could chat.

Now, a few years back, this would have made me crazy. Every time someone else made a sale, I would cringe, because it wasn't me. Or I would spend the whole time making myself insane about what they were doing that I didn't do, or whatever. Constantly comparing and beating myself up. But it doesn't bother me at all any more, in fact it's kind of fun.

There truly is enough business to go around, and everyone should be successful doing their own thing. I could never wish that someone who is working as hard as I know we are, would not have a profitable show. There is plenty of room for different takes on the soap world, and we've all built up our own little niche, and have our own little base of loyal customers who like different things. The other folks had soap bars only, and I've got a whole variety of things. So it was interesting yesterday when doing my inventory of what sold, to see that I sold less bars of soap this weekend than usual, but more of the sprays, sachets etc. The sales were darn tooting close to my record breaking show of last year, but far less soap bars sold. Which is actually perfect at this moment in time, because I was just beginning to worry a little bit about my stock for the next few weeks. Now I don't have to worry about that, it's all good.

But it did get me thinking, nevertheless - because each of them have such very different perspectives from me, and from each other too. There is still comparing going on, but in a good way. There's always something to learn when seeing how somebody else handles the same things you are. And the gal from Eastern Washington that I chatted with last weekend in Bellevue too, such a totally different take on it. So many similar experiences, and yet such different outcomes and viewpoints.

So I've been mulling over what I want to change myself for next year - which I've been doing anyway - but with some new input. The "what works/what didn't work" song plays in my head every single day any how. I just had a little something extra to work with by being in such close proximity to my fellow soap geniuses, and having the chance to talk shop with other experts.

Well, this coming weekend is the Coupeville Festival, so I'm busily re-packing what I've got and getting the rest ready to go again. It's show 3 of 4 in a row and we're humming along. It's the 'Dog Days' of summer, and I'm working like a dog. Somehow, I don't think that's what it's supposed to be, hmmm. Are the rest of you lazing about in your underwear, taking it easy?